The comic movie genre is one of the biggest money makers in Hollywood right now, with 7 of the top 50 highest grossing movies of all-time coming from comic books. With several major projects on the horizon, that number could get even higher. The summer of 2014 is going to be a big time for movies based on comic book properties. Here’s what the world of comic books has in store for us this year.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4)
I may be in the minority among most comic book fans, but I actually enjoyed Captain America: The First Avenger. It wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. In place of a gritty war-era epic, I got a more lighthearted sci-fi popcorn flick. But I enjoyed it nonetheless. The upcoming sequel, however, looks to lean more towards the grittiness I had hoped for. I’m really looking forward to this one. Admittedly, I am a fan of Captain America, so my bias is skewed, but from a strictly movie standpoint, it looks great. The more subdued color tones and grainier cinematography give the trailers a darker feel than its predecessor. It gives the feeling that the character (and the franchise) has grown up a bit…battling the wide-scale alien invasion in The Avengers would probably do that…
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (May 2)
While I absolutely loved the first installment of this series, I can only muster a cautiously optimistic approach to this one. Cramming three villains into one movie, especially only the second in the franchise, seems excessive. Obviously it can be done with good writing, but there isn’t really a good track record for comic movies with more than 2 villains. But with that said, my biggest apprehension with this movie is that it appears that Harry Osborn is going to be the first Green Goblin, instead of his father Norman. If this is the case, they better have a dang good reason for screwing with the character like that. Without one, I’ll be furious.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (May 23)
I have to admit that I’m really looking forward to this one. I thought X-Men: First Class was fantastic, and this one has the potential to be even better. I’ve always been a big fan of the “Days of Future Past” story arc, so I’m very excited to see it being brought to the silver screen. Possibly the most interesting element of this movie is going to be seeing both worlds of the X-Men franchise be melted together into one. Also, finally getting to see the Sentinels brought into the series should be a whole lot of awesome. I truly believe this one could be the best comic movie coming out this year, and has the potential to be one of the best ever.
Guardians of the Galaxy (August 1)
This one looks like a lot fun. While I’m not as versed in the original source material as the other movies on this list, I am very excited about it. The trailer seems to give the impression that there’s going to be some blending of genres…western, old-school sci-fi, comedy, and a definite Usual Suspects homage. I’m also glad to see that Chris Pratt, known for his comedic roles, took the role seriously and bulked up majorly to play Star Lord. I’m not entirely blown away by how Gamora looks in the trailer, though I love the casting of Zoe Saldana. She’s a great actress who seems tailor-made for this role…and she’s definitely easy on the eyes. I am, however, extremely impressed with the CGI of Rocket Raccoon and Groot, and the make-up job on Dave Bautista for Drax the Destroyer.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (August 22)
Now that they’ve finally released a trailer, I needed to add this one to the preview. The tone and style of the original appears to be intact for the sequel…and that makes me very happy. I am a huge fan of the original and Robert Rodriguez’s commitment to the source material. Sin City creator Frank Miller is back as co-director and writer, so we should get another very faithful adaptation. Like its predecessor, this flick bolsters an all-star ensemble cast, with Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Jaime King, Powers Boothe and Rosario Dawson all returning to their roles from the last film, and adding Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin, Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven, and Eva Green joining the cast. Miller and Rodriguez have also teamed up to write two original stories to incorporate into the movie, so even the most die hard fans of the comic will find something new.